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Friday Notes: Lions Have Dinner with Matthew Stafford

  • Matthew Stafford had dinner with Martin Mayhew, Tom Lewand, James Harris, Jim Schwartz, and Scott Linehan last night.  The dinner apparently lasted for around two hours.
  • SI's Don Banks doesn't think the Lions will draft a quarterback with the #1 pick and will instead likely opt for a tackle.
  • Although Jim Schwartz said that Lions quarterback Jon Kitna is "expected to be" a participant of the team's offseason program, Tom Kowalski reports that Kitna will likely be released before his $1 million roster bonus is due at the beginning of March.
  • Even if the Lions have interest in signing Albert Haynesworth, chances are nothing will happen.  According to Tom Kowalski, Haynesworth is going to take three things into account when making a decision of where to play: "money, location and victories."  Haynesworth wants to be the highest paid defensive player in the NFL, and the Lions could probably offer him a deal that is in the range of that since they have so much cap space.  The other two criteria, however, are not exactly anywhere near Haynesworth's standards.  Detroit is not a great location for Haynesworth, as he wants to live somewhere in the south where the weather would be nicer year-round.  And for victories, well, we don't need to go there.
  • Jim Schwartz answered a question about a "hypothetical defensive tackle" (in order to avoid tampering charges) and whether or not that DT would be deserving of being the highest paid player in the league.  Schwartz was careful with his words to not actually name Haynesworth, but he did say that "if there’s a defensive tackle that dominates the game, there’s no reason that he wouldn’t be the highest-paid player."
  • Jeff Backus' conversation with Martin Mayhew about moving to guard apparently wasn't extensive at all.  One day in practice last season Mayhew asked Backus if he had ever played guard and then hinted at a possible move down the road since there are a lot of highly rated left tackles in the draft.  It doesn't sound like any serious talks have happened, but I imagine none would until the Lions decide if they want to use the #1 pick on a LT.
  • If Backus were to switch to guard, Lomas Brown would support the move.  He thinks Backus is "built to be more of a guard than a left tackle."
  • Sould the Lions be interested in trading for Derek Anderson?
  • Both Tom Kowalski and Dave Birkett were more impressed with Baylor OT Jason Smith than Alabama OT Andre Smith after interviewing both.
  • Andre Smith wants to play for the Lions.
  • Chet Bulger, a former NFL offensive lineman that spent his final season in Detroit, died at the age of 91 on Thursday.
  • is going to be streaming live coverage of the combine from Saturday-Tuesday.
  • The Panthers franchised Julius Peppers.

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